Friday, May 15, 2015

Gigande Beans like Whole Foods

When my daughter got married last year, Whole Foods catered her reception. After the newly marrieds left for their honeymoon, we were left with the cleanup. Because so much food was left, I didn't want to throw it away, so we packed it all up, taking some to the home of the newlyweds to enjoy upon their return, and the rest we brought home. One of the items were these really large seasoned beans. I liked them so much, I ate a spoonful every day until they were gone, as a snack.

I tried asking about them at the Whole Foods closest to me, but no one seemed to know anything about them, despite the fact they are pictured on their catering brochure. Any time I visited a different Whole Foods, I would look for them on their salad bar. I finally did find them, oddly enough, at one of the smaller stores. And that was when I got a better idea on how to make them.

Seasoned Gigande Beans

One pound of gigande beans (they may be labeled large limas or Peruvian beans)
3 or more cloves garlic, chopped
About a tablespoon each of mint, thyme, and parsley
One lemon, squeezed
Olive oil

Soak, then cook the gigande beans until done. Once drained and cool, stir in the remaining ingredients. Serve. Enjoy!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Spring Vegetable Pie

This is another vegetable pie, minus the potatoes. This one is topped with bread crumbs, instead. It comes out firmer, as a result of using a vegan egg substitute.

Spring Vegetable Pie

1 c. cauliflower, chopped
1/2 c. green peas
1 carrot, cut in chunks
3 scallions, chopped
Vegan egg substitute, to equal 4 eggs
1 T. parsley
2 T. vegan milk
1/4 t. thyme
1/2 c. bread crumbs

Saute the cauliflower and carrots in oil until softened. Add the scallions and cook slightly. Add the peas and parsley and remove the pan from the heat. Make the vegan egg substitute, and to that mixture add the milk and thyme. Add the egg mixture to the vegetable mixture and mix well.

In a casserole dish, sprinkle some of the bread crumbs, just enough to cover the bottom. On top of this, pour in the vegetable mixture. Top with the remaining bread crumbs. Use more if you need to. Bake at 375 for 25 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before cutting.

Serve. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Gardener's Pie

Really more a version of Shepherd's Pie, but with more vegetables.

Gardener's Pie

About 9 potatoes, quartered
1 package sliced mushrooms
2 carrots, sliced
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, sliced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1/2 t. basil
1/2 t. thyme
1 t. salt
1/4 t. black pepper
1 c. water
1 T. flour
1 zucchini, cut in half lengthwise and then sliced into half coins
1 c. green peas
1/2 c. vegan milk

In a Dutch oven, cover the potatoes with water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer about 20 minutes.  In a large skillet, saute the mushrooms, carrots, onion, green pepper, and garlic until softened. Add the basil, thyme, salt, and pepper.

In a separate bowl, mix the water with the flour, and stir into a smooth paste. Add this mixture to the vegetables and stir until thickened. Add the zucchini and peas.

Drain potatoes and mash. Add the milk and mash some more.

Place vegetable mixture into a baking dish, and top with the mashed potatoes. Bake at 425 for 20 minutes.

Serve. Enjoy!

The picture isn't pretty, but the taste is delicious!

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Nicoise Salad with Spring Vegetables

Nicoise salads always sound so posh. But really, they are just a salad with a little extra. More like a cold side dish than a salad. But pretty tasty!

Nicoise Salad with Spring Vegetables

12 small red potatoes, quartered
2 c. green beans, trimmed and cut in half
1 container vegan plain yogurt
1 T. basil
1 onion, sliced
1 can vegan tuna
Black olives
Romaine lettuce

Boil the potatoes about 10 minutes, or until tender but not mushy. Add the green beans and cook about 5 minutes more. In a food processor, add the yogurt and basil and whir to blend. Set aside.

In a large bowl, place the romaine leaves on the bottom. Add the potatoes and green beans, the onion, tuna, and black olives. Dollop the yogurt mixture on top.

Before serving, mix it all together, to make sure the salad is coated with the yogurt dressing.

Serve. Enjoy!

Monday, May 11, 2015

Texas Hash

I love those easy dinners I can pretty much just throw together, and that use leftovers. I always seem to make more rice than we need for a given meal. So finding ways to use it make me happy. I really, really, really don't like having to throw food away because it sat in the fridge forgotten, and takes on an alien life form all of its own.

Texas Hash

2 large onions, sliced
2 green peppers, sliced
1 package vegan ground beef
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 c. cooked rice
1 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
1 t. chili powder
1/2 c. breadcrumbs

Saute the onion and green pepper in oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients, except bread crumbs. Stir to mix well. Pour mixture into greased baking dish, and sprinkle the bread crumbs over the top. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes. Serve. Enjoy!

Friday, May 8, 2015

Marinated Spring Vegetables

I picked up some beautiful asparagus the other day, for a really reasonable price. The stalks were all thin, not the usual thick. I couldn't wait to use them.

Marinated Spring Vegetables

1# thin asparagus, tough bottoms removed and tender parts cut into 2 inch pieces

2 c. vegetable broth
1/4 c. lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
2 bay leaves
3/4 t. thyme

8 carrots, cut into 2 inch pieces
1 bulb fennel, stalks removed and bulb sliced
Feathery fennel fronds

Boil 2 c. of water and add the asparagus. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Drain, and immediately rinse under cold water. Drain again. Refrigerate.

In another pot, bring the marinade ingredients to a boil. Add the carrots and cook about 5 minutes.

Pour marinade and carrots into a ziploc baggie and refrigerate.

About an hour before serving, add the asparagus and fennel to the marinade. Chop a few of the feathery fennel fronds and also add to the marinade. Leave at room temperature.

To serve, drain the marinade and place vegetables in a bowl.


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Nut Loaf

I love to try new ways with meatloaf. It is amazing what you can use and make something that slices and tastes delicious.

Nut Loaf

4 onions, chopped
5 tomatoes, chopped
2-3 carrots, chopped
3 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted and crumbled
1/2 c. vegetable juice
1/2 c. hazelnuts, chopped
1/2 c. cashews, chopped

Saute the onions in oil until softened. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the nuts, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in the nuts and spread the mixture in a loaf pan. Bake at 400 for 30 minutes. Serve alongside your favorite sides for meatloaf. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Potato Corn Chowder

I've probably said it numerous times, but we have such weird weather here in Texas. It's as if Mother Nature simply cannot make up her mind! Here it is spring, and we've already had to turn on the air conditioner. Until recently, when we had to sleep under blankets because it got cold enough to need them! It's beautiful weather, but certainly not hot! I'm not complaining - the less I have to run the ac the better for my bank account. But it gets confusing!

Potato Corn Chowder

Vegan bacon
2 c. vegetable broth
2 c. diced potatoes
1 can corn, drained
1/2 c. black olives, sliced
1 onion, chopped
1/2 c. celery, sliced
1/4 t. black pepper
1/2 c. vegan mayonnaise
1-1/2 c. vegan milk

In a Dutch oven, add all the ingredients except for the bacon, mayonnaise and milk. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes. Stir in the mayonnaise and milk and stir until smooth. Serve with a sprinkle of bacon on top. Enjoy!

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Meatball Stroganoff

I've made my own meatballs before, but I love that there are several ready-made on the market now, and many that are really very good. They make a quick spaghetti and meatball dinner easy. They also come in handy for other dishes, like this:

Meatball Stroganoff

1 c. or more of your favorite vegan cream of mushroom soup
1 c. vegan milk
1 t. dill
Homemade or frozen meatless meatballs
1/2 c. vegan sour cream
Cooked wide noodles

In a large pot, heat the soup, milk and dill until hot, but not boiling. Add the meatballs and heat through. Blend in the sour cream. Serve over the cooked noodles. Enjoy!

Monday, May 4, 2015

Cajun Sausage with Red Beans and Rice

There are numerous vegan sausages on the market now. True, I could make my own, but I haven't yet ventured into that territory. So, because a Whole Foods is just down the street from me, I get to buy them easily enough.

Cajun Sausage with Red Beans and Rice

1 T. olive oil
1/3 c. chopped onion
1/3 c. chopped green pepper
1/2 of a jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
1 can red beans, drained
1 package Tofurky Andouille Sausages, sliced into coins
1 c. water
1 c. vegetable broth
1 t. apple cider vinegar
1 t. red pepper sauce
1 t. oregano
1 t. thyme
1/2 t. crushed red pepper
Cooked rice

In a skillet, heat the oil and saute the onion, green pepper, jalapeno, and sausage until vegetables are softened and the sausage is browned. Add the remaining ingredients, except for the rice, and heat through. Serve over the cooked rice. Enjoy!

Warning - it is pretty spicy! Adjust the heat as you like.

Friday, May 1, 2015

German Stew

The past two months have been a whirlwind of doctor visits and tests, but I am very happy to announce I'm even healthier than I knew. At my age, this is really good to know! So with that all behind me now, I can finally return to cooking and sharing all the deliciousness!

But, first of all, Happy May Day!

My dad is German. My mom has often joked how she married a Sour Kraut. He is not amused. However, having that heritage leads me to try German-ish sounding recipes.

German Stew

1/4 c. olive oil
One package gardein Beefless Tips
1-1/2 c. chopped onions
2 Not Beef Bouillon cubes
2 c. water
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. thyme
1/4 t. black pepper
1 bay leaf
1 carrot, cut into coins
1/2 c. dry red wine
2 T. cornstarch
2 T. water

Heat oil in a skillet and saute the onions. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in water and pour into the skillet. Add the salt, thyme, pepper, bay leaf and carrot, cover and simmer about 30 minutes. Pour in the wine and add the beefless tips. Mix the cornstarch and the water until smooth, and stir gradually into the stew. Stir constantly until the juices are thickened and the beefless tips are cooked through. Serve over wide noodles. Enjoy!
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